Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Last week we looked at an interesting topic that answered some of the misconceptions about when believers should exercise their authority. We learnt that although all Christians have been given authority over demons, only very few even understand it, much less use it. There are those who believe we can't exercise any authority until the millennium reign; they think Satan is the one running everything down here and that we cannot do anything about it! We also emphasized one of the greatest tricks the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. Because there are even sincere Christians who believe that demons or the devil do not really exist, but are metaphors for serious human problems. But we know better and in today’s study we will be looking at how to “deal” with the Devil.
1. A SUBTLE WEAPON OF THE ENEMY – “UNBELIEF & DOUBT”
Unbelief and doubt especially against the ability of the Almighty God, His promises and our position in Christ is a subtle weapon the devil uses against us. We usually don’t easily identify it because it’s not aggressive! But as long as Satan can keep you in unbelief or hold you in the “arena of reason”, he'll beat you in every battle. But if you'll hold him in the arena of faith and the Spirit, you'll whip him every time! He won't and can’t argue with you about the Name of Jesus—he's afraid of that Name. Mark 11:23 (AMP) says: “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and [a]does not doubt in his heart [in God’s unlimited power], but believes that what he says is going to take place, it will be done for him [in accordance with God’s will].”
Once the issue of unbelief is dealt with then you can handle the devil and put him where he belongs!
2. DEALING WITH THE DEVIL AND HIS OPERATIONS
Operation #1: He sends evil (temptation) ahead. Targeting our minds and using the weapon of lies and deception (Genesis 3:1-7)
• COUNTER TEMPTATION WITH THE WORD OF GOD!
Just as Jesus countered his temptations with the Word. See Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4. Also John 8:32 says: "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
• LOOK OUT FOR THE WAY OF ESCAPE (1 Cor.10:13)
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” There may be a way of escape for temptation but not for sin!
• DON’T MEDDLE WITH EVIL 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (AMP)
“Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it].”
Don’t linger, don’t hang around. Don’t give in to your fleshly desires. It is only when you “entertain” evil that sin can get hold of you! James 1:14-15 (NLT) says:
“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
Operation #2: He sends his agents (demons, sickness) to steal, kill and destroy. Targeting our bodies using the weapon of suffering and afflictions. John 10:10a
• TAKE AUTHORITY OVER THEM!
Luke 10:19 (NIV) says: “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
Peter at the Gate Beautiful demanded that the lame man be healed (Acts 3:6).
“Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
When you make the demand, it is not from God; but from the devil. You are exercising your God-given rights when you do. When Jesus made this statement in John 14: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do... If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it" (vv. 13, 14). He was not talking about prayer. The Greek word here is "demand," not "ask." The Greek actually reads, "Whatever you demand as your rights and privileges." You don't have to stand there all day long and command devils to come out. All you need to do is to speak the word of faith. They will obey when you tell them to if you know your authority. They have to go once the command is given in faith.
Operation #3: He toils with our emotions – our wills using the weapon of pride
• GIVE NO ROOM FOR THE WORKS OF THE FLESH!
That is why the Bible in Ephesians 4:26-27 (MSG) says:
“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”
Instead of allowing anger rest in our bosoms (for instance), forgive. 2 Cor.2:11 says if we forgive, we . . . “. . . Keep Satan from taking advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
Pride is usually one of the reasons we are unable to let go and forgive and therefore unable to submit to God. Also, sin in general (when harboured) renders us powerless!
Romans 13:14 says: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires."
How? Ask yourself these questions
• Where and when, are you usually tempted?
• Is there a particular space that often is harder?
Prepare for that time, remove opportunity for temptation. Avoid situations before you even get in them.
• RUN FROM SIN!
1 Corinthians 6:18a says: “Flee immorality.”
2 Timothy 2:22a says: “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness”
1 Corinthians 10:14 says: “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry”
You don’t get any brownie points for hanging around sin!
Operation #4: Discouragement!
• REFUSE TO BE DISCOURAGED!
For every battle, we need courage. So the devil comes with discouragement - a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness. Especially by making people focus on their sins, weaknesses and failures because he knows that it's impossible for him to defeat you as long as you keep on fighting, so he tries to persuade you that you're a hopeless case, so you might as well surrender and give up. Deut. 31:8 says: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you."
Operation #5: He engages himself (but only when you give him a foothold)
• RESIST HIM!
Not by engaging with him but by first submitting to God. James 4:7 (NIV) says:
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
As long as you are submitted to God, the devil is no match for you!
• USE THE BLOOD!
Revelations 12:11 says:
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death.” Emphasis mine
• SET HIM UP!
. . . Against the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 59:19b says: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
To deal with the devil, you have to be adequately equipped. Ephesians 6:13 says: “Therefore take up the whole armour of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” In verse 17b of the same chapter, the Bible talks of the one offensive weapon in the entire armour; "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God"!
The Word of God as a matter of fact, is "Quick (alive) & powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword!" (Hebrews 4:12).
Finally, don’t engage the devil in his territory (the arena of reason); but if he dares come into your territory, ensure your lifestyle (the word of your testimony) is right and because we have been made more than conquerors, your victory is sure!